Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sport England's Additional Comments, Planning App: 14/4208

These comments were submitted by Sport England following deferral of planning application 14/4208:

"Thank you for consulting Sport England on the additional information submitted.

Sport England is aware that local groups have shown an interest in reinstating the bowls club and former pavilion. Sport England would expect any approach made by local groups to continue using the facilities for their original sporting purpose, or some other sporting purpose to be given due consideration. Should there be a community need for the facility to remain in sporting (bowling) use, then paragraph 74 of the NPPF would suggest it be retained as such.

Other than the above, Sport England has no additional comments to make on this application."

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Our Friends Protected King Eddie's

On 4th March Friends of King Eddie's Park went to Planning Committee. They protected the Bowls Pavilion and Bowls Greens in King Edward VII Park. 

Planning application 14/4208 was rejected by 6 councillors, 1 abstained from voting and 1 did not attend.

They are seeking permission from Brent Council to restart a Wembley Bowls Club alongside a Community Hub.

Details of the proceedings at Planning Committee, including copies of the resident speeches and Wembley Central Ward Councillor Sam Stopp's speech are on our sister site:

Friday, 27 February 2015

Local Press Cover Our Petition

The Brent and Kilburn Times published an article about the launch of our petition to Protect King Eddie's Park

We want to preserve the Bowls Pavilion and Bowls Greens for Wembley and Brent community use, as well as general public use, as a recreational sporting park facility.

They are park of King Edward VII Park, protected by Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust Award

Please do Sign & Share via Facebook, Twitter, Email

Saturday, 7 February 2015


The 13th January Planning Committee Minutes

Denise Cheong's "Letter to Wembley Matters Readers"

Sport England's Comments

This is Sport England's comments (obtained from the case officer under the Freedom of Information Act 2000):

Dear Victoria,

Firstly apologies for any confusion. I did previously advise that Sport England had no formal comment to make on this application.  That said, I would like to make the following formal  comments such that Sport England’s position is understood and not mistakenly taken to be supportive of the application per say. We have also become concerned regarding the ongoing use of the bowling green and clarity around its future status, so wanted to confirm our position on this specifically also.

I would be grateful if these comments could be made available to Committee Members at tomorrow’s Committee Meeting.

Sport England aims to ensure positive planning for sport, enabling the right facilities to be provided in the right places, based on robust and up-to-date assessments of need for all levels of sport and all sectors of the community. To achieve this, our objectives are to seek to protect existing sports facilities from loss as a result of redevelopment; to enhance existing facilities through improving their quality, accessibility and management; and to provide new facilities that are fit for purpose to meet demands for participation now and in the future.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

What Next?

We would very much like to help the former Wembley Bowls Club to re-open at the Bowls Pavilion in King Eddie's Park.

Former Wembley Bowls Club Chariman, Ron Ferrari, has said that he would be happy to come over and lend his expertise.

We will take steps to liase with the Brent Council Sports, Leisure and Parks Department.

We hope they will be open to our idea to help re-establish the former ageing bowls members and introduce a diverse group of new members too.

We have received a lot of interest from locals we've spoken with: children, ladies, gents, young and old who would like to have a go at bowls and learn a new hobby.

Many people have expressed their desire to take part in sporting activity without over exerting themelves. Bowls would be their chance to take up a sport and be an active part of the local community in Wembley Central. Members would of course be welcome from across Wembley and further a field.

As of 25th January 2015, we have 30+ members signed up to Wembley Bowls Club plus additional members on our part-time members list for those with limited spare time.

Locals have also come up with ideas to hold weekly pilates, yoga and tai chi classes in the pavilion, as well as youth group clubs, therapeutic activities and educational talks.

We have plans to set up a charity website and hold community fundraising events quarterly to engage with the local community and provide much needed community sports days, as well as more recreational fun days.

Thanks for reading our blog. Watch this space.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Wembley Central Ward, Councillor Sam Stopp's, Speech on 13th January 2015

Thank you, Chair.

I would like to say first of all that I don’t have a personal prejudice against the London Welsh School. We should be immensely proud of Brent’s multiculturalism and I know that the school itself has played its part in this since its inception in 1958.
However, my first duty is to the residents of Wembley Central, and in this case, I speak on behalf of the residents of Prince’s Court. The reality is that, from my many conversations with the residents and others, several clear areas of doubt have emerged with regard to this application.

From my perspective, there are five key concerns about this application: 1) The precedent this application sets for future development, 2) The likelihood of increased traffic and parking issues, 3) The availability of other sites, 4) The lack of community facilities in Wembley Central and 5) The importance of prioritising the state sector in the face of the school places crisis.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Committee Meeting, Resident Speech 2 (13th Jan 2015):

This proposal in effect takes away a community sporting facility from local residents and replaces it with a private business operating as the London Welsh School. Their Registered Company Number is 3952000. This sets a dangerous precedent.

At the site visit, Mr Richards said that they will require parking for 9 vehicles daily and will have keyholder access to the park car park. This car park has been closed to the public for many years with access only granted for sporting events, for example, weekly football, park bowls club use or special Council events.

The idea of compensating for the loss of the open space adjacent to the pavilion with the steeply sloping bank next to Colin's Lodge is not comparable and unusable. In fact this will make Colin's Lodge vulnerable to vandalisation and arson. As an attractive notable architectural feature of the park and the wider Wembley area this would be tragic.

The Tree Officer's report has not been available within the submitted documents. As no tree survey was submitted with the application there is a real need for formal proof before this category B Monterey Cypress tree can be removed. Category B trees have the ability to contribute to the quality of an area for up to 20 years. Granting permission without such proof would be a travesty.

Child protection is important. The location is too exposed to the public being in the middle of the park. This would not be a secure site for children. The rear elevations of several Princes Court properties face the bowling green. The proposed site would be a very vulnerable location for the children. e.g. Dunblane shooting occurred because the site was open and therefore vulnerable.

I stop here. Where will the planning department stop at permitting the taking of open space from the people of Wembley and Brent? We urge our elected planning committee members to look at the limited evidence base, lack of transparency in the planning department's provision of supporting statements and timeline of supplementary document submission for this application, alongside the case officer committee report, to ultimately refuse this flawed proposal.

Committee Meeting, Resident Speech 1 (13th Jan 2015):

King Edward VII Park was bought by the council in 1913 (and opened in 1914) to compensate the residents of Wembley for the loss of Parkland at Wembley Park, which was being developed as a high class residential garden suburb.
2/3 of the alternative sites considered by the London Welsh School are not in Brent. They include Orpington Kent. Only 16% were considered too far for parents. These figures strongly support the viability of the school relocating outside of Brent.

The consulting of only 11-18 Keswick Gardens, 21-32 Princes Court and Park Lane Primary School, (plus councillors and officers) prevented wider park users their right to be consulted for this council owned, but ultimately public sporting space.

The change of use of the bowling pavilion would prejudice use of the bowling green. This application does not include the bowling green, yet there is clear intent to use and restrict access to this public green space. The use of the word “exploit” in supporting documents, mention of “appropriate groups” and exclusion of dog walkers is further evidence of this. The park is a resource for the whole community, not just half of two streets, and should not be exploited by any group.

There are 202 bowls clubs in Greater London and West Ealing juniors start from 7yrs old.
Former Wembley Bowls chairman, Ron Ferrari, informed me no adverts were placed by Brent Council indicating possible demise and urgent need for members.

The western half of King Eddie's Park is the only tranquil and quiet open space for local Wembley residents. Many of whom now and will live in high rise flats, with Quintain's proposals, with no open space close by.

Fundamental changes to the scheme were made, concerning removal of trees, after the consultation period. Application procedure was flawed and may give rise for an application for judicial review.

Parkland and open space belongs to everyone, me, you, you and you. Based on the facts, taking all material planning considerations into account NPPF74, NPPF123, CP18 & ALGG, alongside any doubt as to the transparency of this planning application, there is a case for deferral as supported by Sport England, if not refusal.

What are we working on?

Our current project is to inform the local Wembley people of what is going on in Wembley Central Ward, the wider Wembley area and Brent.

At the moment we are working on informing Wembley residents about what development proposals are being considered in Wembley.

Our main concern is planning application: 14/4208

It proposes to grant permission for the independent London Welsh School to build on Public Parkland in Wembley, Brent, Middlesex, UK (for you non-UK readers. Yes that's Wembley, home to our beloved national Football Stadium).

The Welsh speaking school follows the Welsh Curriculum as opposed to the English Curriculum.

You can view the planning application on the Brent Council website here: LINK

You can also add any comments to the application on that website too.

About Us

We are Wembley Central residents who care passionately about our local Wembley area, the environment and open public green space. We really like Wembley and will do everything we can to protect our ward and the wider Wembley area from any possible adverse development.